Introduction: B&W Photography Workshop

About: Passionately Tinker and Hacker.

Hi …  I love B&W film photography. During my school days I was curious about Camera, Photography, Photo Prints. My favorite is B&W Photography and its prints. Black, Gray and White inks lend an artistic form. During those days the studio guys developed the films in darkrooms (labs). I used to think why can’t I develop it at home? As I started learning about it, I came to know that I needed a dark room and red light but I had no idea about chemicals. The funniest thing was that I tried developing a film with lemon juice (Citrus), because I had read in Chemistry books that lemon juice is also an acid. This is my old story 

Here is my B&W photography project, before staring I would like to inform about my Handmade SLR camera because in this project all images are captured by this camera. To Know about my Handmade SLR Camera Link

Step 1: Used Materials for Project

1. 35mm B&W Films ( I used Kodak T Max 100 and Ilford )
2. Ilford Papers
3. Kodak Chemicals – Developer, Fixer
4. Stop Bath ( Fresh Water)

Building Darkroom
1. Wooden Frames
2. Plywood
3. Sunpack Sheets
4. Black Paint
5. Woolen Cloth

Basic Equipments and Lab Items
1. Enlarger
2. Trays – 3 Nos 12x10 inches ( for Paper Developer)
3. Thermometer
4. Timer
5. Scissor
6. Tong
7. Red Light
8. 3 Plastic Trays
9. Beaker and Funnel
10. Clips
11. Gloves
12. Masking Tape
13. 3 Empty plastic film container
14. Towel
15. Refrigerator - for getting 20o C water

Step 2: Building Darkroom

I build a small darkroom on the terrace of my house. I used 2x1 inches wooden planks to build the frame of the room. I used Sunpack for the walland applied black paint on blue sunpack. After that I pasted woolen cloth to make it an air and lightproof room. Inside the room I have put a workshop table, an Enlarger table and a Rack which I made myself. Due to lack of space I place a large tub instead of a wash basin.

Step 3: Enlarger

Due to the popularity Digital photography enlargers have disappeared from studios, I searched many studios in and around my city all of them give it to scarp dealers ( sad news…). Finally I got it. I bought it for Rs. 2000. Lo and behold it was almost in good condition; it only needed cleaning, oiling and painting. After finishing all touch-up work I placed it in my Darkroom.

Step 4: Black & White Film Photography Project

Yes my darkroom is ready, let me start.

Because of unavailability of B&W photography film processing material in India I had to import it.
1. ILFORD and KODAK 35mm / ISO 100 B&W films
2. ILFORD Printing Paper (RC) 8x10 inch
3. 1 Kg  Pack of KODAK Developing Chemicals
(Film Developer, Paper Developer and Fixer for both Film & Paper)

Step 5: Chemical Preparation

As per procedure in the pack I prepared the Stock Developer and Fixer for both Film and Paper.

Step 6: Darkroom Practical

I needed to crop the 35mm film to my camera film holder space. My camera doesn’t have fixed shutter speed; the aperture can be manually changed, so taking shots with the camera in hand did not give good results. It needed to be placed on a flat surface. After that, the shutter release button is to be pressed.

Step 7: Film Developing Process ( Darkroom Process)

For film developing process, I used three plastic film containers (tank) as developing tank, Developing – Fixing – Stop Bath respectively.

Step 8: Dveloping

After removing exposed film it is dipped in a Developer tank and then the developer tank is to be placed in a beaker containing 20o C water where it has to be kept for 10-12 minutes.  Agitation has to be done at every 2-3 Minutes interval. The beaker water temperature should at 20o C till the end of the process. After 10 minutes take it out and run stop bath for 2-3 minutes, it stops the chemical reaction of the developer. I used water as a stop bath.

Step 9: Fixing

After stop bath, the film is again dipped in the tank containing fixer solution at 20o C for 3-4 minutes.

Step 10: Stop Bath

After fixing process washing to be done in clear and fresh water to stop chemical reaction. After that hang the film till the water drains off completely. Then it is left to dry.

Step 11: Negative Film

After drain the final negative looks like this….

Hurray! My first B&W film developing was a success…  I’m on cloud nine.

Step 12: Enlarging and Imaging

Even if I mounted enlarger in the darkroom, I could not take print inside it, because of the smaller size of negatives (1.3x1 cms). To get a 6x4 inch print I needed to move condenser upward around 6-7 feet, that amount space was not there in my darkroom, so I converted my bedroom as darkroom for exposing the print paper.

I got the best results at 5sec Exp /f8.  The exposed paper was dipped face up in the developer tray for 90 seconds to 1 minute. Entire surface of the paper was submerged. I agitated it by gently shaking the developing tray for each 2-3 minutes. Now, I could see a faint image appearing on the paper.

I washed the paper in a stop bath tray for 20-30 seconds and drained it. I further dipped it in Fixer tray and kept it for 5-6 minutes while agitating in an interval of 1-2 minutes. After that I washed it gently in fresh water and kept it for drying.

Step 13: Final Prints

Lomography Analog Photography Contest

Participated in the
Lomography Analog Photography Contest